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Do you remember when a study came out, about 20 years ago, stating that red wine was good for you? There were no real details, like why it was good for you, or in what way you would benefit. There certainly was no information about how much, or how little, you should drink to get these amazing benefits. A lot of people just heard “red wine” and “good”, and were satisfied with that!

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I get it! I like a drink every now and then too, so it would make sense that if you tell people something they want to hear, they won’t ask a lot of questions. 🧐

In the two decades that have passed since that day, there have been numerous studies conducted on both white and red wine, as well as other spirits, largely negating those small, positive correlations of the original studies.  But, if you ask the average person if consuming alcohol is healthy, they most likely will tell you that red wine is good for you, and leave it at that.

So, let’s take a look at that statement.

All forms of alcohol, not just wine, contain heart healthy factors.

Alcohol will raise the HDL form of cholesterol, and lower the LDL form. This means that cholesterol will be flushed out of the arteries before it has a chance to build up and form a blockage, known as plaque.

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Alcohol also reduces the formation of blood clots by interfering with platelet adhesion, thereby acting as a blood thinner.

Alcohol may also improve the function of the cells lining the arteries themselves.

Alcohols also has anti-inflammatory properties, anti- cancer activators and has been shown to increase longevity in lower life forms.

It sounds amazing doesn’t it! 🍸 🍷 🍹

Why did red wine get singled out?

Red wine contains over 500 natural occurring chemical substances. One of those is resveratrol.

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This is the compound found in the skin of red grapes. 🍇 It is one of the polyphenol class of antioxidants. Red grape skins are used in the fermentation of both red and white wine varieties, so white wine also contains resveratrol, but the red varieties have 13 times the amount. Food scientists have long credited red wine, and resveratrol, as the factor that explains the “French Paradox”. This is the notion that the French, who have lower levels of heart disease, obesity and Type II diabetes, in spite of consuming a diet high in fat and cholesterol, are drinking red wine with their meals and avoiding the harmful effects of their cuisine. Studies began by isolating resveratrol and looking at its effects on cells, and in small mammals. Small, positive correlations were observed and quickly the population grabbed onto the new idea that red wine was good for you.

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It didn’t take long for the herbal supplement machine to grab onto this information. This single antioxidant was concentrated and plugged into a capsule and sold. Annual sales reached an all time high of 30 million dollars in the Untied States, and the list of aliments supposedly cured by this one substances went far and above any of the actual testing that occurred.

The marketing teams touted that you can get all the benefits without the nasty hangovers or detrimental affects brought on by alcoholic beverages.

Not surprising!

 

 

Are there no other sources of resveratrol in the world!?😳

Of course there are! This is an antioxidant, which means you can eat healthy, colorful foods that will give you all the resveratrol your cells can use. The added bonus is that these foods are also full of other cancer fighting, and heart healthy boosting nutrients.

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You could just eat the grapes! The skin is where the antioxidants are contained so look for red, black and purple fruits. Blueberries, cranberries, dark chocolate and even peanuts have resveratrol, as well as many other fine nutrients.

The key is moderation🍇🍆🍫🍷

The last 20 years of data have demonstrated that red wine is not responsible for The French Paradox. There really is no mystery there at all. The French practice portion control, walking is part of their daily lifestyle and they consume more whole foods and less processed products.

Bottom line: if you love your red wine, have a glass (ladies) or two (fellas). Not a bottle! The standard serving size varies from different regulatory governing bodies, but this chart is a close representation from all guidelines.

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And don’t drink to the point of lowering your inhibitions and eating the foods you know will not help you meet your overall health goals. 😉

And don’t kid yourself! That is not a 5 oz. vitamin drink! You need a balanced diet to get the benefits of resveratrol and its antioxidant buddies. 😊

Cheers 🥂 !

References:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heart-disease/in-depth/red-wine/art-20048281

https://www.everydayhealth.com/longevity/is-red-wine-good-for-you.aspx

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/1868537

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/drinking-red-wine-is-good-for-you–or-maybe-not/2017/12/01/49f55e7a-cbd3-11e7-aa96-54417592cf72_story.html?utm_term=.61891f50c52e

 

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10 thoughts on “A to Z Challenge: W is for Wine

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